In the Nov. 30, 2015, crash, driver Scott Lisinicchia drove through a stop sign in Glens Falls, New York, and into the path of a Cadillac Escalade. Witness Gary Ferris told police "the impact sent the [second] car airborne and then it rolled over," according to a police report from the time.
Ferris, who was in a building across from the site of the crash, ducked as he saw Lisinicchia's car coming toward him. The vehicle swerved at the last second and just missed hitting the building, he said.
Speaking to InsideEdition.com Friday, Ferris said he still remembers the deafening sound of the crash.
"The car came out Jay Street with just enough force to upend an Escalade. That’s a pretty heavy vehicle," Ferris said. "I heard the impact."
Ferris said he couldn't believe the same driver was involved in last Saturday's deadly limo crash.
"I was shocked to hear it was the same fellow," he said. "[It's] just a terrible tragedy and I feel terrible for those families."
A passenger in Lisinicchia's car sustained a minor head injury in the 2015 crash, while the driver of the Escalade suffered a back injury, police said.
Lisinicchia ultimately received a ticket for failing to yield the right of way in the incident, records show.
Lisinicchia was killed Saturday after the limo he was driving blew a stop sign and hit a parked SUV outside a crowded store. The limo was estimated to have been going above 60 mph, according to witnesses.
All 17 passengers in the limo died, as well as two pedestrians.
The crash is being investigated as a criminal case after authorities found the same 2001 Ford Excursion limo driven by Lisinicchia at the time of the horrific crash had already been stopped by police in August.
During that stop, Lisinicchia was cited for operating without a proper license. State police said they told Lisinicchia and the company that the vehicle could not operate again without the proper licensing.
In an interview earlier this week, Lisinicchia’s wife, Kim, said her husband has been unnecessarily vilified in the aftermath of the crash.
"I don't know what that's about," Kim said. "Because ... even if he didn't have the proper license, this still would've happened and I feel like he still would have got blamed."
Prestige Limousine, the company that operated the 2001 Ford Excursion, had reportedly been cited for 22 violations in the last 24 months.
"He did complain,” Kim said of her husband. "There were a few times where he told me, like I overheard him say, 'I'm not going to drive this, like this, you need to give me another car.'"
Inside Edition's Katie Taylor contributed to this report.